May 15, 2009

ReaperCon VI May 14 - 17, 2009

Again, I almost let an event slide by me unnoticed. If you know nothing of miniatures, as is the case with me, or you love them and want to see more, then ReaperCon VI is the place to be this weekend. Opening day was yesterday but the folks at Reaper Miniatures have something planned for the rest of the weekend. Located on the south side of Denton, Texas, and out in the country is a warehouse filled with fantastical creatures great and small.

I got registered and was told a tour would start in about 10 minutes. I took that time to do a quick walk around the building and check out what was happening. In the store front area there was a game going on of Reaper's Zombie Apocalypse Readiness Plan. Just a little game that was dreamed up to test the readiness of employees in case of all-out zombie war. Lots of painting and classes and , yes, miniatures still being made.

I was so enthralled with the zombie battles that I was a few minutes late joining the tour, but I arrived just in time to see the molds that were used to make the minis. Bryan then took us over to the shop area where the real magic was done. While we watched on, he poured the metal mixture from the vat into the mold centrifuge and within minutes we had miniatures. We learned that it's a secret mixture that is heated to around 750 degrees, yet it cools rather quickly. Quality control inspects them to make sure that employees are up to quota. That quota is around 3000 and only the good ones are counted. If you mess up enough, then you'll be making a lot more than 3000. Once they go through quality control, they are packaged at "the wheel of pain." Bryan says it gets it's name from the fact that you hurt after standing at it all day.

Most of the painting was going on in the paint mixing area towards the front of the warehouse. I was intrigued to find that instead of little ball bearings in the paint to help mix it when you shake the bottle, they use little pewter skulls. Pewter doesn't tarnish and mess up the paint and when you're done with the bottle, you've got a little souvenir.

Upstairs, the guests of honor were teaching people how to perfect their painting or instructing newbies in the basics. I got some great photos and met some really cool people.

They will also be having contests and tournaments, so check into that. The one thing that they do not post on the website or any of the flyers is that it cost $10 to get in. Other than that, people are friendly and willing to help you learn and food is available for purchase. They will all be there until Sunday, so don't waste time.

Also, view the rest of my photos at this link here.

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